Many parts of our former republic, including civil liberties, are already close to catatonic; and profoundly anti-democratic forces (the secret security state, the war machine, vote suppression) are already loose, some beyond our control (which is why we mostly prefer not to think about them).
But all this could get much, much worse, depending on how this political year turns out.
Cohen comes at the 2016 campaign from the BTDT (“Been There, Done That”) perspective, of those who have seen — and lived– this movie before.
It’s also a movie which is being remade today in more and more corners of their continent.
Anti-Disestablishmentarianism: The Word for Southern Marriage Holdouts Do kids still joke about learning to spell “anti-disestablishentarianism”? I used to think it was a fake, something made up, like Mary Poppins’s “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
But no! It was real. And in fact, I just realized that TODAY, for the very first time ever, I can use the term in a piece of factual writing, in its actual meaning. Because that’s what going on in a few holdouts spots across the American South: fits of Anti-Dis-Establishmentarianism.
Linda Barnette said in a letter of resignation, effective on June 30, 2015, that
“The Supreme Court’s decision violates my core values as a Christian,” she wrote. “My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan and purpose for marriage and family. . . .” Acquaintances said Barnette’s husband is a pastor who worked with Billy Graham Ministries for many years. “I choose to obey God rather than man,” Barnette wrote.
There’s a grimly fascinating update from “Rightwing Watch” (RW) detailing how the harder core of the religious right is throwing down the gauntlet to the U.S. Supreme Court, to wit: Legalize same sex marriage nationwide, and you’ll face an armed insurrection. A new Civil War. A Boom-Boom-Bonhoeffer Moment. Your Honors, You Have Been Warned.” (RW is an ongoing project of People for the American Way.)
“Sedition Watch.” This feature brings up “dots” of data that come onto my radar screen, which I’m working to connect.
The implications of the potential connections are unsettling, and I hope the authorities are watching. The elements here are straightforward: there are a lot of upset people, mostly guys, with guns out there, and with a high level of training in how to use them. And they are being fed a diet of sedition — talk of violent insurrection, or perhaps mounting a coup d’etat.
A good friend of mine from college days is a member of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian church in Knoxville that was shot up on Sunday, July 27. She was there with her husband, but thankfully was not hit.
(Thankfully. I feel a twinge of survivor’s guilt writing that; but there it is.)
The reports Monday about the rantings of the shooter, wanting to kill all liberals and gays, and the targeting of this particular church, well-known for its welcoming stance and other progressive views, brings a lot of things home to me.